Before adding food to their menus, restaurants were clusters of tables where people could go to read conjunctions and adjectives. Eat delicious food nouns with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of upscale American fare at Kate Mantilini. Choose between the Beverly Hills or Woodland Hills location.
Kate Mantilini engrosses guests in an elegant American roadhouse atmosphere buttressed by an extensive dinner menu of tapas, pasta, seafood, soup, raw-bar options, sandwiches, and more. The Wildly Wonderful Cannes Film Festival salad tells a tale of smoked salmon thrust into a world of wild organic field greens and drizzled with vinaigrette, that emerges victorious with the help of a co-starring sourdough spear and slice of creamy duck pâté ($18.50). Ahi medallions are treasured at both locations—as tapas coated with a garlic, sesame, and black-peppercorn crust with ginger-lime vinaigrette ($9.50, Beverly Hills) or as a full entree, seared and served with Asian slaw ($24, Woodland Hills). Patrons of either location can also introduce their appetite to grilled double breasted chicken brushed with grainy mustard and served with mashed potatoes and Blue Lake green beans ($20) or Kate’s Signature Meatloaf accompanied by mashed potatoes and gravy ($18.50). Visitors to the Beverly Hills location can get an early start or late finish with a breakfast, weekend brunch, and late-night menu, and Woodland Hills lunch options exist outside the boundaries of space, time, and french toast.
Both locations sport spacious, open dining rooms, perfect for settling in to watch the comings and goings of the other patrons, the professional wait staff, and any groups of very independent babies dining alone. Large, cushy leather booths envelop consuming and conversing visitors, and contrast the sleek, modern décor. Spacious bar areas and an outdoor patio at both eateries further entice eaters to stay for another cocktail or dessert, such as the warm apple pie with rum sauce ($6.50).
If the tables at Kate Mantilini could speak, they'd quickly find themselves booked by every major talk show. Their undersides have seen the feet of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro filming their first scene together in Heat as well as the pants cuffs of Tom Cruise, Mick Jagger, and Antonio Banderas, according to seeing-stars.com.
Founders Marilyn and Harry Lewis built the backbone of this celebrity hot spot. Harry had already worked alongside Humphrey Bogart in the film Key Largo when he told Marilyn that he hoped to open a restaurant chain geared toward folks in the film industry. In 1950, his idea came to life at several Hamburger Hamlets, where Hollywood icons could grab a meal or autograph a fan's shirt with ketchup before returning to their shoots. While luminaries like Sammy Davis Jr. occasionally supervised the kitchen, says the Los Angeles Times, Marilyn taught herself to cook a repertoire of eclectic comfort food. In 1987, the pair sold their Hamburger Hamlets and established Kate Mantilini.
Today, looming Mad Men posters on the walls speak to a modernism that has not abandoned the restaurant's Hollywood roots. A geometric orrery sculpture hangs from the gigantic sundial on the roof, and an elongated mural of a boxing match stretches across the dining hall. The smell of Kate's signature meatloaf weaves throughout the architecture and mingles with a slew of rotating aromas, from calamari to strip steaks and award-winning chicken pot pie. As the scents drift past the tables and onto an outdoor patio in Beverly Hills, they surround the former bank building, which now hosts homestyle breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
The Lewis family has also opened a second Kate Mantilini location in Woodland Hills. The garden setting has its own alfresco seating to supplement 42 indoor booths, where patrons can order the same quality of rustic yet upscale American cuisine. Though they see their fair share of well-known figures, both restaurants cultivate an unambiguously welcoming vibe—one that invites children to feast on macaroni, casual visitors to stop in for a bowl of soup, and hungry families to share tapas rather than saw microwave dinners in half.